Transcending Experience to Open the Future 

Touchstones designs custom programs for professionals that allow them to step outside the bounds of their daily responsibilities through lively and engaging discussions with peers from different fields. Programming blends historical and classical instances with contemporary issues. Through discussion, executives view and examine broader themes at play in their respective domains. Each program focuses on current issues that concern all leaders: globalization, technology, conceptual change and modification, and leadership.

Touchstones addresses issues of globalization, governance, and diversity through timeless sources.  For example, one series of executive sessions explored texts from Imperial Rome and its 300-year efforts to reconcile the oppositional forces at play in ideologically, geographically, and demographically heterogeneous societies. Additional programs have included texts from the Renaissance to regard how established memes can be adapted in a period of extreme transition; texts preceding the American and French revolutions consider how patterns in society reveal discontinuous change;  examination of Islamic texts to enhance cultural and social awareness; among others. These semi-monthly or monthly programs include 10 to 20 ninety-minute meetings.

Current program offerings include:

Where We Are & Why Literature

Over two years, with a total of 20 sessions, leaders will examine these transformations through recent literary works. Fiction, for the first time since the Renaissance, has become the most suggestive vehicle for fathoming the direction of our currently mutating world. In this series we will explore recent efforts to create new literary modes and approaches from around the world.

Evolving Revolutions

Explore three decisive revolutions leading to our present very fluid environment of change. These three moments are the American, the French, and the Russian-Chinese revolutions. They respectively focus on the issues of who has a voice (suffrage), who has a life (rights), who is genuinely self-conscious (autonomous). The last meeting of the series will focus on whether these models are still appropriate or whether we are in a new phase or epoch in which the distinction between the status quo and change is outmoded and how to describe this new environment.

These programs have been offered in New York City, NY, Washington D.C., and Annapolis, MD. Please contact Howard Zeiderman, Director of Leadership Programs, at hz@touchstones.org for information on how Touchstones can bring these programs to your city.